Downtown development in the works

Downtown development in the works

The vision of having a thriving downtown could be one step closer to reality. Tuesday developers announced new details of what could be coming to the Good Life City.

Filling vacant buildings along Front Street could happen much sooner than we thought. Shandon Developers got a chance to hear  what people in the community want to see downtown.

So, did lovers of downtown Albany. Some said they wanted better parking.

They believe more restaurants, foot traffic, security and entertainment will make downtown Albany thrive again. The company overseeing overall redevelopment announced possible retail businesses that could fill these vacant storefronts on Front Street and Pine Avenue.

" We have three or four tenants that still want to come downtown, right now it's a restaurant, a salon and spa, dance studio and a bakery, " said Patrick Plettner.

Shandon Developments plans to close on those leases within the next thirty days. There's also a hotel interested in building...but with a few conditions.

" A hotel will be interested if we can do a traffic generator such as the sports complex that we talked about or the convention center."

" We wanted Shandon to understand what the community wants and to be willing to work with them and they were delighted to have this opportunity," said Sharlene Cannon.

Monroe Davis says he's concerned that workers being hired to redevelop downtown aren't local.

" There's a lot of things that we can build right here in Albany, we can get our own people to do it," said Monroe Davis.

Plettner also said the majority of people working to rebuild downtown are from the Good Life City.

" Everything else is in town, contracting, architecture, engineering, everything."

Plettner continued by saying several more tenants interested in coming to Albany and that the restaurant, spa and dance studio could be open by next spring.

Plettner believes everything is on track. He's in the process of trying to get someone to run the Flint River for water rafting, kayaking and canoeing. He would also like to ring a brewery and distillery to town.

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